Happy Spies’ Day, from Russia with love

Today marks the 89th anniversary of the establishment of the Soviet secret police. “Day of the Chekist” is originally a Soviet holiday designated by Joseph Stalin and still celebrated by the KGB’s successor, the Russian Federation’s Federal Security Services (FSB). Also on this day in 1981, the Soviets created (sub. req’d.) the Vymple, a covert intelligence ...

Today marks the 89th anniversary of the establishment of the Soviet secret police. "Day of the Chekist" is originally a Soviet holiday designated by Joseph Stalin and still celebrated by the KGB's successor, the Russian Federation's Federal Security Services (FSB). Also on this day in 1981, the Soviets created (sub. req'd.) the Vymple, a covert intelligence unit that specialized in liquidating people abroad.

This year's celebrations are (hopefully) tamer. Yesterday, members of the Movement for Human Rights staged a protest in front of the FSB building in Moscow, calling on the agency to uphold Russian law. Today the FSB website contains a message congratulating visitors on the holiday. But considering the bad publicity surrounding potential Kremlin involvement in the death of Putin critic Alexander Litvinenko, I doubt Russia's spooks are in a mood to celebrate.

Today marks the 89th anniversary of the establishment of the Soviet secret police. “Day of the Chekist” is originally a Soviet holiday designated by Joseph Stalin and still celebrated by the KGB’s successor, the Russian Federation’s Federal Security Services (FSB). Also on this day in 1981, the Soviets created (sub. req’d.) the Vymple, a covert intelligence unit that specialized in liquidating people abroad.

This year’s celebrations are (hopefully) tamer. Yesterday, members of the Movement for Human Rights staged a protest in front of the FSB building in Moscow, calling on the agency to uphold Russian law. Today the FSB website contains a message congratulating visitors on the holiday. But considering the bad publicity surrounding potential Kremlin involvement in the death of Putin critic Alexander Litvinenko, I doubt Russia’s spooks are in a mood to celebrate.

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